Rerun: 41. Stuckey’s–Home of Pee Breaks and Pecan Logs

1 May

Stuckey's, Coffee County, Tennessee by naslrogues

Hey y’all! I’m at the beginning of Dixie Expedition 2013, wherein I’ll be visiting seven states in 30 days. Whee! After a visit with family over the weekend, I took to the road yesterday landing in Tallahassee, FL, on my way to Jeckyll Island, GA for The Southern C Summit.

During my travels, I’ll be visiting some places I’ve never seen (Savannah, Charleston) and reconnecting with some old haunts along the way. I thought it might be fun to share some of my previous posts with updated commentary. Here goes:

Every road trip I ever suffered through as a child included at least one stop at Stuckey’s. Which was often the highlight of the whole ordeal. How to describe Stuckey’s to the uninitiated? Hmm…a gas station, restaurant, souvenir shop, ice cream parlor, and candy store all in one. Kind of a low-rent version of Disneyland, sans rides, dorky hats, and teenagers sweltering in Disney character costumes.

Anybody who’s ever been to Stuckey’s knows I’m building it up way too much, but y’all have to admit that to a road-weary kid, Stuckey’s is pretty awesome. Except for the bathrooms. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a clean bathroom in a Stuckey’s. But, hey, look! There’s a figurine made out of a clam shell! A rubber alligator! Peanut brittle!

What I remember most about Stuckey’s is that they used to sell their own brand of melt-in-your-mouth peppermint balls. I remember this because I’ve spent the rest of my life (so far) trying to find a decent substitute. If y’all know of any, please let me know.

My sister and I never left Stuckey’s without new “Yes and Know” books in hand. These were filled with trivia questions or word games, and you revealed the “invisibly printed” answers with a “magic pen.” As I got older (or perhaps my eyesight improved), I realized you could read the “invisibly printed” answers without the use of the “magic pen” AKA yellow highlighter. However, until I Googled them just now, some thirty-odd years later, I didn’t catch anything odd about the tagline “Hours and hours of by-yourself enjoyment.” Hmm.

My mom always had to have a box of sesame sticks (which were WAY exotic back in the day) and the ever-popular Pecan Log. This is not as gross as it sounds, but almost. I don’t remember anything my dad enjoyed about Stuckey’s other than getting the hell out of there and back on the road. Of course, we didn’t often get to-go drinks because a pit stop was to “empty” not “fill up.”

Anytime I happen to be on a road trip in the South, I can never pass up a Stuckey’s. They’re harder to find these days, but if you’re on the road from Jackson, MS to Memphis, there’s one in Vaiden. Last time I checked.

Alas, while they do still sell a bunch of Stuckey’s brand food-like substances, the peppermint balls are long gone. However, I’m happy to report that the bathrooms are just as nasty as ever.

What do y’all remember about Stuckey’s?

Update: I’ve been informed that the Stuckey’s in Vaiden has long since closed, but I stopped at the one in Hattiesburg, MS, yesterday and it hasn’t changed a bit (nasty bathrooms and all). Snapped a couple of pics for y’all. Also, I bought a package of pecan divinity, but haven’t worked up the nerve to eat it yet. Something tells me it will not live up to its name…

Classic Stuckey's literature.

Classic Stuckey’s literature.

All manner of pecan candy.

All manner of pecan candy.

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15 Responses to “Rerun: 41. Stuckey’s–Home of Pee Breaks and Pecan Logs”

  1. Jane Newton Henry May 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    There’s still a Stuckey’s on US Hwy. 65, only a few miles south of Montgomery, Alabama. You might want to make a note of it for your next trip to the region. My favorite memory of Stuckey’s is the seven-inch-tall duck-like plastic souvenir that sports a blue top hat and has some sort of blue liquid in his abdominal area. A festive green feather has been glued to what might be described as his butt. And if you place a cup of water in front of him and dunk his red beak into the water, he will bob up and down for hours and hours of mindless enjoyment. I find it more entertaining than watching television.

    • fairytalehausfrau May 2, 2013 at 1:40 am #

      Ha! I totally remember those behatted, bobbing birds!

    • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      I never had one of those but I know exactly what you’re talking about!!

  2. Hausfrau May 2, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Oh, wow. A Stuckey’s in East Texas was, for years, the half-way spot for my parents to meet up with my grandparents to drop me off with them for spring or summer vacations.I would enjoy wandering around the store, and my grandfather would always give me a few quarters to put in the “machines” to get some cheap toys–I loved the ones at Stuckey’s, for some reason!

    • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      I believe I couldn’t spent at least a full day in Stuckey’s as a kid without getting bored. So much to consider!

  3. Robin May 2, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    There is a Stuckeys on US1 between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach Fl.
    Oh and the peppermint balls — the closest I know of is the soft peppermint sticks they sell at Cracker Barrel

    • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      yeah, those are pretty good, but they don’t have the same, um, airiness that those balls had. sigh!

  4. habner1 May 2, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Each time after I read one of your embellishments of our special southern things I think: Well, thats it, she will not be able to come up with anymore but thankfully I am always wrong.
    I was raised in Jesup, Ga. which is about 30 miles from Jekyl Island. As a kid there were not any roads there. We had to go by boat from Saint Simonds Island. You will see St. Simonds when you drive to the wind swept northern end of Jekyl.
    When I was in college at Ga. Southern I had a part time job where I worked with a lady that sold a food mixer to Mr. Stucky, the kid, which he used to make candy and sell out in a stand along the highway.

    • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      oh, thank you to that lady who got Mr. Stuckey started making the awesome candy!!

  5. habner1 May 2, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    One more Jekyll Island tid-bit since you are going there and if you are really interested in poetry. Sydney Lanier made that area of my state famous with his – THE MARSHES OF GLYNN. You will be surrounded by the very marshes as you drive to the island.

    • Anonymous May 2, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Pecan Log Rolls? We begged for them every time but I can’t remember ever getting one. The main thing I remember is that whatever treat my younger sister and I got, she always made hers last three times as long and I had to sit in the back seat still hungry while she still nibbled on hers, smirking. Every time.

      • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

        Ha! Your sister sounds a lot like mine. I’d ask her for some of her candy bar and she’d flake a tiny bit of chocolate off with her fingernail.

        • Jenna Holloway Cochran May 29, 2013 at 11:48 am #

          I am surprised that you didn’t also add that when you asked for some coke I would pour some into the cap of the 16oz bottle…sounds to me like Anonymous’s sister and I know how to reserve much better…

          • Kim Holloway June 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

            I might have mentioned that somewhere on this blog already…

    • Kim Holloway May 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      Thanks! Jeckyll Island was beautiful, except it rained more than Seattle when I was there!

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